Power Forward, Michigan State
23 years old
6’10″, 240 lbs.
2013-14 Stats: 28.1 MPG, 16.4 PPG (50.3% FG, 79% FT, 43.2% 3P), 7.4 RPG, 1.3 APG, 0.5 SPG, 1.3 BPG, 2.9 TOPG
Measurements: 7’4″ wingspan, 9’1″ standing reach, did not participate in vertical testing at the combine.
Cumulative Ranking: 13th | Bryant’s Ranking: 13th | Scott’s Ranking: 15th
Adreian Payne: THE BREAKDOWN
Bryant: There’s so much to love in Adreian Payne’s game and how he might fit the Kings. He’s a hyper athletic forward with a well rounded offensive game and good long-range ability, along with solid post defensive skills and snagged a respectable 7.3 rebounds a game. He’s more NBA ready then most of the players we’ll be talking about, and there isn’t a ton he can’t do on the court. Best of all, he’s 6’9 without shoes AND has a 7’4 wingspan. I know he’s 23, and that will scare away teams looking for higher potential youth, but if the Kings trade back I think the veteran Payne would be an excellent long-term role player.
Scott: You mention Payne’s strengths, and I agree with all of them. When you factor in that Kings brass wants to win soon and Payne is a high-character guy, is there any chance Sacramento considers him at No. 8? Sure, other prospects in that area have high ceilings, but who says Payne is done growing as a player? He basically re-invented himself midway through his college career, developing a great offensive inside-outside skill set. With NBA trainers and coaches, I think he could take another leap.
Bryant: I’m certainly not one who’d complain if Payne was the selection. I think there will for sure be guys I’d take over him at 8, and thus would prefer the Kings trade down to get him if he’s the pick, but having a NBA ready rookie would be a first for this franchise since… Francisco Garcia? I don’t know if Payne is a lock to be a long-term starter, which is what I think you look for with a top 10 pick, but at worst I think he’s going to be an excellent role-playing big man like Draymond Green. The biggest areas I think he needs to improve in are his shot selection (fell too much in love with the three late in the season) and in his shot blocking. For a guy who is that athletic and lengthy, you’d think he could eventually get more than .9 blocks a contest.
Scott: True. If the Kings settle for a role player at No. 8, maybe someone who fills a hole would be preferable (Doug McDermott or Nik Stauskas for shooting). Payne is probably best suited for just after the lottery, but he’d be a great guy to buy back into the first round for if he started slipping. The Kings will likely try to clear out some of their power forward log jam and Payne could be an immediate contributor in some capacity.
Bryant: I know drafting a senior may not be as exciting for Kings fans as getting one of the younger prospects, but there’s a TON to be exciting about in Payne’s game. Have you seen this insane dunk? A NBA ready veteran who showed significant improvements and adapted himself with one of the college’s games best coaches – what isn’t there to like?
Three Questions with Ed Isaacson of NBADraftBlog.com
(Ed Isaacson has been gracious enough to lend his expertise to our draft coverage this year. Few people cover prospects as thoroughly as Ed. He’s a must-follow on Twitter this time of year — @NBADraftBlog — and check out all of his work atNBADraftBlog.com.)
1. If Payne was 21 instead of 23, how much of a difference would that make in his draft stock?
Ed: It really wouldn’t make as much as difference as if he was say 19 instead of 23, but age alone isn’t always indicative. His game has gradually developed over his college career as he put together his athleticism and skill into the player he showed his senior year. I think what this question really gets is at upside, and while it won’t be a lot, there is still a lot of room for him to grow as a player, especially with the chance to play in offenses that are less rigid than the Michigan State offense.
2. What are the biggest improvements Payne needs to make defensively in the NBA?
Ed: He’s going to need to be able both the perimeter and post effectively, so he is certainly going to need to add strength while keeping the agility he has for his size. On the perimeter, he has a good understanding of what he’s supposed to, he just needs to hone skills such as moving laterally and knowing how to force drives toward the help.
3. Is Payne the most NBA ready 1st round prospect?
Ed: He may not be the “most” ready, but he will certainly be able to make a bigger impact than most right away if he is given the opportunity. He is going to need to adjust to the NBA game over his first few months, especially on offense, so I would give a guy like Doug McDermott the edge over Payne in readiness.